First rewrite pass is complete

I finally made it through the first pass at rewriting the woolly beast that is my novel-in-progress, The Sleep of Reason. It comes to twenty-one chapters, though the last two could easily be combined, comprising only 2,473 and 787 words respectively. Altogether, the first draft checks in at 109,164 words, which means there is plenty of room for judicious pruning if necessary. It’s funny to me that I started this novel, perhaps a decade ago, as a short story that I abandoned, and when it kept nagging at me, I decided I had to finish it, whatever that state would be but that I doubted could be any more than a novella.

I can see that I rushed myself to finish the last few chapters. They seem skimpy and breathless, and while there is not a lot of plot to cover, the protagonist brings himself to a terrible realization and makes a difficult decision about it. I think I can devote more attention to developing that, but we’ll see.

I’ve made a record of the passing of time through the story, noting in which month each chapter takes place, and since I know the ending takes place in late January (a little caprice of mine that only one reader in a thousand would catch), I’ll be able to calculate the month in which the preceding chapters take place. Knowing this, I’ll read through the whole thing one more time to add seasonal cues (mostly for texture but also as it might drive one small plot point). I can also incorporate all of the assorted notes I’ve been making in recent weeks about this and that. I hope it will be my last constructive pass through the novel.

After that, I think I’ll begin tackling the big rewrite with a third-person narrator. I don’t know how easy or hard that will be. Geez, this is exhausting.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Sleep of Reason

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